McAfee Aims to Padlock Confidential Customer Data

McAfee announced Monday a security suite that provides enterprise users with host data loss prevention, device management and endpoint encryption to ensure compliance and limit exposure to fines.

McAfee Total Protection for Data, a solution for data loss and data leakage protection, has full visibility and control of confidential data with scalability and centralized management. McAfee created the new product in response to the growing number of regulations placed on enterprises that require them to ensure customer privacy and data confidentiality, it said.

It protects data regardless of how the data is used, stored, accessed or located. Enterprise customers can monitor and protect all communication channels including corporate and personal e-mail, instant messaging, file transfer, peer-to-peer file sharing, Web mail and other applications. The inclusion of end-point encryption protects businesses if a computer is ever lost or stolen.

“An explosion in the growth of mobile devices and the increasing capacity of portable storage devices not only increase productivity of workers but also increase the risk of data loss,” Vimal Solanki, vice president of solution and competitive marketing at McAfee, told TechNewsWorld. “Now enterprises can ensure that sensitive data can not be used by those that are not authorized to see the data.”

Integrated Compliance Protection

Through integration with McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator, Total Protection for Data offers an integrated end-to-end endpoint protection. Customers can leverage their existing agent and management console for easy deployment, management and reporting.

The solution is designed to meet customers’ current needs and scales to meet future needs. Centralized policy management and enforcement keeps control of data security where it belongs, in the hands of security experts, Solanki explained.

McAfee data encryption ensures Safe Harbor protection by protecting enterprises from the risks of public disclosure, financial loss, brand damage, competitive disadvantage, lost customers and non-compliance, he said. In addition, it provides detailed auditing and logging along with a rich set of policy and reporting templates. These features help companies meet and comply with the toughest regulations, he said.

Biggest Threat

Today’s highly mobile workforce makes mobile devices the biggest threat to enterprise security, according to Solanki. Mobile devices are more powerful, provide more storage capacity for data and provide better access to network data.

For example, lost portable devices in 3,127 major incidents account for 14.9 percent of data lost in just one of the top 50 international companies last year said. That loss is almost double that of data stored in lost laptops in 2,914 major incidents that same company experienced. Data loss was 2.2 percent from 1,219 major incidents involving that company’s desktop deployments.

“The reality is that these devices get lost. Last year in London, 11,000 portable devices were left in taxis,” Solanki explained.

Five-Fold Features

McAfee Total Protection for Data includes five components that can be applied separately or in combination. Used as a full security suite, the product provides an unmatched level of protection.

“Some vendors claim to do what we do do not have the full portfolio we offer now. We have the technology and the vision to meet the security pain point today. We expect competitors to catch up, but we’re there first,” said Solanki.

McAfee Endpoint Encryption protects laptops and mobile devices. McAfee Encrypted USB is a hardware-based encryption that includes biometrics. McAfee Device Control allows only authorized devices to work when attached. McAfee DLP Network stops data leaks at the enterprise gateway.McAfee DLP Host stops data leaks at endpoints by monitoring all data content. By working at the operating system level, this prevents copy-and-paste activities onto any unauthorized device or into any instant message or application. It even prevents renaming files to bypass the prevented operation and also blocks screen shots of data viewed on the screen.

Acquired Enhancements

Recent company acquisitions provided McAfee with the additional technology to enhance its existing security offerings, Solanki explained. These additions to the portfolio allowed McAfee to advance beyond a fragmented approach to security.

For example, McAfee recently acquired Safeboot. That company developed solutions that used strong pre-boot user authentication and powerful encryption to prevent unauthorized access to or use of PCs.

“Their encryption algorithm was used by the military. And their product had a feature that allowed a systems administrator to wipe the data on a lost device,” said Solanki.

Consumer Conversion

McAfee is already considering the potential for a consumer-based version of at least some of the features in McAfee Total Protection for Data.

“We are looking at consumer encryption as a followup. This is a big issue today. We are definitely seeing a strong demand for the first two modules,” said Solanki. He referred to the endpoint encryption and the encrypted USB features.

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